Musings and Amusings


Beware Death by Diet !

Recently I received an email from my brother declaring himself the Baron of the Black Eye.

His photo looked like a midnight mug shot after a brutal bar brawl. Both his eyes were enveloped by angry purplish rings and noticeably swollen skin. His sheepish grimace (one could hardly call it a grin) told me there was a post-worthy story waiting to be written.

What the heck?!?” I hollered into the phone.

He explained he’d made himself lunch – basically salad in a pita pocket. Because he wanted to lose a few pounds, he nixed adding dressing to his salad. After taking a bite and swallowing, somehow a piece of lettuce caught in his throat and stuck, lying flat and effectively sealing his wind pipe. He tried coughing to no avail. The lettuce wouldn’t budge, and he could not call out for help or breathe. In a slight panic, he headed towards the sink (for what reason remains unclear).

A short time later he awoke on the floor – head cut; eyes bruised; and a cupboard door hanging askew from its broken hinge near the sink. We surmise when he passed out, his esophagus relaxed enough that (miraculously) the piece of lettuce moved off his wind pipe, and he began breathing again.

Moral of this diet story:
(cue Mary Poppins)

A spoonful of dressing helps the lettuce go down…

 In the most life-saving way!

Comments on: "Stay out of the Kitchen – Part 3" (45)

  1. Oh, how horrifying! I’m so sorry that happened to him. A piece of lettuce would be a difficult thing to self-Heimlich. So glad he was all right.

    • Hi Carrie – yeah, that was so bizarre! I agree – not sure Heimlich would help with that flimsy lettuce leaf. My stepson said he once threw himself in a hard belly flop on the floor when self-Heimlich didn’t work. So now I remember that as a Plan B.

  2. Oh my goodness. That’s hysterical and mortifying at the same time. Your last line has me giggling more than I should be. I am so grateful he’s alright! And yes, it did make for a great story 😉

  3. Can’t believe that, thank goodness he’s alright!! I did chuckle at the thought of running to the sink though. Why is it we run to the sink in moments of panic?! 😉

    • Yes, it is a strange refiex. I’m glad he’s ok, but our family got a good laugh out of it. Food and food exploits are an ongoing topic for us!

  4. That sounded AWFUL! Thank God it didn’t went all wrong, just a couple of black eyes! But I can easily imagine the panic.

    • Yeah – pretty freaky thing to happen. It’s one of those things that could have ended his life or made for a good story. Thank goodness it was the latter.

  5. Omg that’s awful I won’t ever eat salad again! Gosh I’m glad he’s ok that’s shocking sammy

  6. Glad your brother is ok, although I’m not sure about the kitchen. The body is such an intricate instrument, isn’t it?

  7. I have to admit I did think he should run to the sink to drink water!

  8. That’s a shocking tale! Glad he’s reasonably OK. One of my sons used to have panic attacks (started at 5 months old) when he would stop breathing. I learned to just let him pass out and then he’d automatically start breathing again. It was very scary to watch though, and I am sure some people witnessing an attack thought I was a very callous mother leaving him alone.

    • I have heard of that, but it must have been awful for you as his mother! Our bodies do seem to work on autopilot in some odd moments.

      • It was frightening the first time, but we all got used to it. If he got lost in the supermarket we’d hear the cry then silence and just knew he’d have passed out. It was worse for other people watching I think.

  9. Oh my goodness! I’m glad he’s ok – choking is a terrifying experience! I promise I will NEVER eat salad without dressing…lesson learned. You’re a life-saver! 😀

    • That’s right, Marci. Just to be safe, I recommend a swallow of champagne with each lettuse bite. Looking out fir you, honey bun 🙂

  10. Wow! He is a lucky man. Your family sounds like mine with the thing we chose to laugh about. As mom used to say “it’s either you laugh or you cry and I choose laugh every time”.

  11. I don’t know whether to freak out or laugh…poor guy. But what a story to tell! (You told it well…complete with cheesy lines at the end…) I’m glad he survived. What kind of dressing should I send him?
    Tina @ Life is Good
    On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

  12. That was scary for him. I knew it wasn’t healthy to diet!!

  13. Thank God he is okay….but it was a funny story!

  14. It’s a scary experience, but I couldn’t help laughing. Sorry:) Blame it on your good writing, especially the part about Mary Poppins. I’m glad your brother is alright, There is a good lesson here. Salad dressing could have prevented this unfortunate incident. AtoZ road tour

    • 🙂 Thanks, Michelle for stopping by on your road tour! Unfortunate incidents abound and we are generally lucky to escape relatively unscathed. That darn MPoppins song just sprang into my head!

  15. Wow, lucky brother for surviving… unlucky brother for the experience. At least you both have a sense of humor about it and can use this experience to educate others about the dangers of healthy eating. Thank you for validating my choice to eat BBQ chips, wasabi peas, and oily Japanese crackers for lunch (crunching away as I type). 😉

    • Absolutely! I love those wasabi peas, and of course there’s no danger of choking on coffee ice cream; this I know from years of working in the test kitchen 🙂

      • Oh, yum… gotta go get me some! If you don’t mind, here’s a bit of education I provide as a Speech-Language Pathologist (please excuse my soapbox speech)… ice cream does melt to what we consider a thin liquid so anyone who has difficulty swallowing and is on a modified liquid consistency (thickened liquids) should never be given ice cream as it may lead to aspiration and/or pneumonia. Alright, sorry about that PSA. Off to the store I go to buy me some coffee ice cream! 🙂

      • Liane, I did not know that. It’s good info. Give us PSAs anytime! 🙂

  16. Wow, how frightening! I’m glad he’s okay and that we can all laugh about it. Did he miss the lesson when he was a kid to chew his food before swallowing? 🙂

  17. Oh my god!! How terrifying!! And how lucky that he was alright in the end.

    This just highights one of the dangers of eating salads – this would not have happened with french fries now would it 😉
    (Just kidding, I am fond of salads but I shall douse them in dressing after this cautionary tale!)

  18. That is just bizarre and thank goodness that he is okay. Note to self- always use dressing!

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